The 2020 MEXT Changes and You

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) is set to implement a new public school English education system just in time for the opening ceremonies.

I won’t go through all of the changes here, (for full details, follow this link:, but the changes can basically be summed up in following three bullet points:

  • more mandatory English classes;
  • English classes mandatory at lower grades; and
  • higher level textbooks.

So what exactly does this mean for you, as a current or hopeful English teacher?

To at least partially answer that question, the follow are my predictions on the effect these changes will have on the public English teaching industry. Hopefully these insights will better prepare you for the potential shakeup.

More Teachers?

With the increased number of classes, it only makes sense that there will be an increased demand for teachers. This hasn’t been confirmed yet, but with the government already passing legislation to bring in more foreign workers to Japan, this seems like a sure thing.

The changes calculate out to about 400% more classes. If you’re looking to teach in Japan in the near future, this is great news! The increased need means there will be more jobs for more people, and you’ll have a much higher chance of getting selected. The next few years seem like a great time to hunt for an English teaching job in Japan, and while we can’t be certain, I’m willing to guess that even people from non-native speaking countries will more welcome than ever before.

More Responsibilities?

With English becoming mandatory at lower grades, some Japanese English Elementary School Teachers will be pushed to teach a subject in they might have very little experience. For some teachers, this might mean leaning on the ALT more than ever before; …continue reading